Chef Mike McEnearney knows Sydney’s dining scene well.
Having been the head chef at legendary Rockpool, as well as the culinary and creative force behind Kitchen by Mike and, these days, the creative director of the Carriageworks Farmer’s Market—he’s basically a gold mine of our city’s tastiest restaurant and fresh produce secrets.
So, in honour of Urban List’s Food Month, we decided to ask him where he drinks, dines and shops for great local produce, as well as what’s keeping him inspired in the kitchen and his absolute favourite ingredient.
Behold, Mike McEnearney’s favourite Sydney eats.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE BAR?
10 William St. I love their focus on simple pure cocktails, but more importantly the natural wine list. It’s fun that each time I go back they have a new chef in residence who puts a new spin on the food.
AND YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK TO ORDER?
Negroni to get my juices moving.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE SPOT FOR BRUNCH?
The Scandi at Cornersmith in Marrickville is light and delicious. Their focus on produce first is exactly how I think, so I always enjoy it.
HOW ABOUT A LONG LUNCH WITH MATES?
The lunchtime view at Icebergs is hard to beat. I love [head chef] Monty Koludrovic's modern Italian spin.
I took my family to LP’s recently for my son’s birthday. What was amazing was that the food was simply delicious, and the meat beautifully cared for and cooked. The menu is really fantastic to share which is always a great thing for a family of five with varying tastebuds.
WHAT ABOUT COFFEE?
I like Artificer. Their focus on coffee and not much else is always a comfort. Their consistency for my morning coffee when I’m in Surry Hills is a magnet.
WHO IS INSPIRING YOU RIGHT NOW?
[Food, nature and culture writer] Michael Polan and [author of "The One Straw Revolution"] Masanobu Fukuoka. I have always been interested in more than just food. I like to understand not only how but why something is grown, its place in history and what could make it better. These points are not just about food, but also about philosophy.
YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENT TO COOK WITH?
I love orchard fruit like quince, pears and Seville oranges. I also love brassicas and can’t wait for new crop spuds to come late in the year.
WHERE CAN WE FIND SYDNEY’S BEST LOCAL PRODUCE?
Carriageworks Farmers Market every Saturday morning. Being the creative director of this market, I am in direct contact with over 80 incredible artisans from New South Wales every week. They bring such beautiful ingredients to the market and the fact that the growers actually come to sell their produce every week makes this a very authentic farmers market in an urban landscape. I love it.
While you're here—check out our list of Sydney's best new eats (including McEnearney's new CBD restaurant).
Image credit: Kitchen by Mike.